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Opioid Crisis Breaking News 480x360

In the United States, the opioid crisis has passed into the pages of our history and is now a mostly forgotten topic. It’s an issue I started talking about in 2019 as many in the chronic pain community had reached such levels of apathy or rage that engaging them in forms of peaceful demonstrations to raise awareness simply fell on deaf ears or was drowned out by the shouting of angry protests.

Why do I believe this? These four rules, their ties back to financial profit, influence over others or political power, are the basis of the choices most of us make, either consciously or unconsciously.

#1.       It’s typical human behavior. If an issue doesn’t impact you personally, we all tend to ignore it as our lives are busy with issues that do impact us and have some kind of payoff.

#2.       It’s old news, as always, the news cycle is driven by the most current events on a national level, which is an ongoing debate, or some would say gossip, of what he said versus what she said. A debate that plays out on the pages of every national media publication. Media publishers are driven by rule #1.

#3.       The general perception is that the problem has been dealt with or mostly dealt with in the eyes of most Americans, particularly of those in political leadership positions.

#4.       There’s little to no payoff, monetarily or politically of returning to a debate on opioids. This view is driven by rule #3.

China’s crackdown on makers of the drug, which has fueled the U.S. opioid crisis, may have simply created opportunities for crime syndicates elsewhere.

An undated photo released by the Myanmar police shows precursor chemicals used to make illicit drugs that were seized in Shan State between February and April.

Credit…Myanmar Police, via Reuters

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I’m continuously amazed by the manner in which denial and irrational thought play out in individual behavior. Given the right circumstances, no one is immune from it and sometimes it can even have beneficial side-effects and outcomes, but in regards to COVID-19 and our government’s response to opioids when treating painful conditions, duplicity has been exposed.